CFP (Edited Collection)--Scripting the Past in the Present: Early America and Contemporary Culture

deadline for submissions: 
September 3, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Patrick Erben and Dr. Rebecca Harrison
contact email: 

CFP for Edited Collection

Scripting the Past in the Present: Early America and Contemporary Culture


Editors: Patrick M. Erben and Rebecca L. Harrison

Proposal Deadline: September 3, 2021


The editors seek critical and pedagogical essays for a book collection that critically examines the reverberations and re-scripting of early America (its literature, history, art, politics, religion, material culture, public spectacle, monuments, etc.) in contemporary culture.

As recent controversies about Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and colonial and confederate monuments demonstrate, contemporary conversations about the early American past are quite often uninformed about the texts, histories, stories, and sensibilities of the colonial, early-national, and pre-Civil War periods. At the same time, themes and figures from early American literature and history pervade present-day culture. Beyond well-known examples like Disney’s Pocahontas and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster Hamilton, contemporary writers and artists in literary and popular venues take up and rework early American materials in both explicit and implicit ways. These texts translate the unfamiliar language and sensibilities of early America as a usable past to find common denominators that address historic and ever-present concerns with social justice and definitions of democracy for the general public. These links reveal present-day echoes of early America that make visible intricate transhistorical nexuses that scholars and teachers alike must grapple with both in and out of the classroom.

The editors welcome critical and pedagogical contributions across fields that explore the intersection of contemporary and early American imaginaries in 20th and 21st century works, including but not limited to film, TV, graphic novels, literature, music, video games, etc. Interested contributors should send the following to Dr. Patrick Erben ( and Dr. Rebecca Harrison ( by September 3, 2021:

  • proposal of no more than 1000 words,
  • brief professional author bio,
  • and curriculum vitae.

Selected contributors will be notified by September 24, 2021 with essays due January 4, 2022.